By Paul Homewood
Nottingham City Council had less cash available for other purposes as it worked to prop up its energy company, a report has revealed.
In a damning report by External Auditor Grant Thornton, which has today (August 11) been made public, a lengthy list of criticisms have been laid bare, revealing how the city council governed its not-for-profit subsidiary, Robin Hood Energy (RHE).
The council’s determination to make the energy company a success "led to institutional blindness" according to the auditor, putting tens of millions of taxpayer money at risk.
Leader of the city council, David Mellen, has apologised for what he said was done "with good intentions" to provide households with affordable and greener energy.
While Robin Hood Energy is under a Strategic Review, the council, now facing axing hundreds of jobs and cutting services, will consider the recommendations made by the auditor and a decision will be made on the future of RHE in the coming weeks.
Last year, accountants Grant Thornton (GT) issued a dire warning to Nottingham Council that its much-vaunted energy supply venture, Robin Hood Energy (RHE) was in significantly worse trouble than they’d acknowledged, putting the entire council’s finances at risk.
GT have just now reported on the comprehensive failure of governance – “institutional blindness”, they call it – that this represents, along with yet further financial warnings and some scathing criticisms: of the council for its failure to rein back inept political projects; councillors for having inadequate skills and “very clear conflict of interest”; and RHE management for dubious and secretive reporting practices. “This is not how local authorities should look after large amounts of public money”, as GT concludes.
Which all rather goes to prove that “affordable and greener energy” is a contradiction in terms!
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August 13, 2020 at 03:27AM